Adapted for website – GP / O-level tuition articles- copyright Knowledge Skills LLP
Adapted from Brooke Donatone
A topic that is becoming increasingly popular in GP and even O-level exams is that of youth issues. Oftentimes, the questions require students to show an understanding of the environment and in turn, the issues faced by the young people of today.
It is easy to list criticisms or praise for today’s generation but the difficulty is creating a convincing argument without being too dependent on anecdotal or sweeping generalisations.
We will explore the nuances and substantiation needed to craft well supported and strong arguments. The following section will also address how to engage from a global perspective before drawing relevant parallels to the Singapore context. Addressing local context and engaging the relevant issues is essential for AQ. These points will be covered in the later section . . . (truncated)
But here are some general ideas to begin brainstorming this topic. Let’s begin with just the criticisms.
The young people today do have to face some issues that previous generations did not. A university degree is no longer as prestigious as it once was. This increases the pressure on kids to go to college and makes the process more competitive. The sluggish economy no longer yields a wealth of jobs upon graduation. (please see notes on Globalisation to expand on this idea)
Furthermore, rates of depression are soaring among millennials in college. A 2012 study by the American College Counseling Association reported a 16 percent increase in mental-health visits since 2000 and a significant increase in crisis response over the past five years. According to recent studies, 44 percent of college students experienced symptoms of depression, and suicide is one of the leading causes of death among college students.
In Singapore, the situation may not be as dire but is still worrying. Here are some factual examples one can use to support such a statement. Firstly, studies by the Ministry of Social and Family Development outlined how . . . (truncated)
There is also the belief that young people of today are highly self-absorbed and narcissistic. One only has to look at new media such as . . . (truncated)
. . .
The big problem is not that they think too highly of themselves. Their bigger challenge is conflict negotiation, and they often are unable to think for themselves. The over-involvement of helicopter parents prevents children from learning how to grapple with disappointments on their own. If parents are navigating every minor situation for their kids, kids never learn to deal with conflict on their own. Helicopter parenting has caused these kids to crash land.
The Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal have reported that millennials are now bringing their parents to job interviews, and companies such as LinkedIn and Google are hosting “take your parents to work day.” Parents went from strapping their kids into a Baby Björn carrier to tying their kids’ wing-tips.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that college students who experienced helicopter-parenting reported higher levels of depression and use of antidepressant medications. The researchers suggest that intrusive parenting interferes with the development of autonomy and competence. So helicopter parenting leads to increased dependence and decreased ability to complete tasks without parental supervision.
. . .
The era of instant gratification has led to a decrease in what therapists call “frustration tolerance.” This is how we handle upsetting situations, allow for ambiguity, and learn to navigate the normal life circumstances of breakups, bad grades, and layoffs. When we lack frustration tolerance, moderate sadness may lead to a lack of grit and the ability to persevere in what students like to proclaim as our “fast-paced and stressful society”.
Students therefore need to relate whether similarly, in the media heavy and technology filled environment in Singapore, are the youth here also overly dependent on parental interference and brought up in a culture of instant gratification.
One area students could discuss would the ‘strawberry generation’ . . .(truncated)